Total Talent Management

Vaccination mandate hiring manager guidance

Under Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, all employees of Washington higher education institutions are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021 as a condition of employment unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.

The proclamation is effective immediately and the deadline to provide proof that an individual is fully vaccinated is October 18, 2021. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. Therefore, individuals will need to receive the second shot of a two-shot vaccine regimen or the single shot of the one-dose regimen by no later than October 4, 2021. If a candidate is being hired after October 18, they must be fully vaccinated as of their first day of employment.

All UWHIRES job postings have been updated with the following paragraph to alert applicants of vaccination as a condition of employment:

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, employees of higher education and healthcare institutions must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than October 18, 2021 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

This statement is also included on and in the “Thank you for applying email” that candidates automatically receive from UWHIRES.

While the job posting, website, and institutional policy provide information about the requirement, we encourage hiring managers to communicate the requirement to candidates. If the requirement cannot be met, the hire cannot occur:

Candidate currently vaccinated Intent to get vaccinated Intent to request exemption Hiring Manager steps to take
Yes, finalist states they are fully vaccinated. N/A N/A Proceed with hire
No No No Cannot hire
No Yes, finalist states they will get vaccinated/are in the process of getting vaccinated. No Delay start date until candidate is two weeks past final dose or withdraw job offer
No No Yes, finalist intends to request. Send final candidate to the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage. Delay start date until form is approved based on review by UWHR and/or EH&S (or Employee Health for medical centers’ hires).

UWHR will communicate the vaccination requirement to all pre-hires who have not yet started beginning September 1, 2021.

Vaccination mandate FAQs for hiring managers

Can UW ask job applicants about their vaccination status?
Yes. Asking job applicants if they have been vaccinated is not a disability-related inquiry under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) but the focus of any inquiry is to determine if the individual can be hired. Follow up questions about why an applicant is not vaccinated should not occur until after a job offer is made since such questions may reveal a disability.

Can a department make a conditional offer based on vaccination by October 18, 2021?
Yes. Departments may make a conditional offer of employment based on the condition that the new hire meets the requirement by October 18, 2021. There is no prohibition against making a conditional offer. The employee should be informed that failure to meet the condition will result in revocation of the offer absent a medical or religious accommodation. Proof of vaccine should not be required until a job offer is made.

New hire confirmation letters must now include the following statement. Hire confirmation templates have already been updated:

Under Washington State Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.1, UW employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption. Your offer is contingent upon proof that you are fully vaccinated or qualify for an exemption.

Can UW refuse to hire if they learn that the candidate has no intention of complying with the working condition to be fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021?
Yes. If a candidate has no intention of being fully vaccinated by the October 18, 2021 deadline (or their start date, whichever is later), they are not qualified for the position, provided there is no medical or religious accommodation.

Does the UW need to obtain proof of vaccination before hiring an employee before the October 18, 2021 vaccine deadline?
Proof of vaccine will be validated on the first day of employment. For more information visit the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage.

At what point do final candidates submit their exemption paperwork and to whom?
Hiring managers should discuss the requirement and exemption options with a final candidate at time of offer when they are outlining other conditions of employment such as completion of a criminal history background check and sexual misconduct verification. Any final candidate wanting to request a medical or religious exemption needs to complete the applicable forms. A determination must be made prior to the anticipated start date. EH&S on campus and Employee Health at the medical centers will be reviewing medical exemption requests, while UWHR will review the religious exemption requests.

How do we communicate with temp agencies regarding the requirement? Who is responsible for obtaining the information about vaccination completion for the vendor?
Under the proclamation, the contractor must provide a signed declaration by October 18, confirming their compliance for contractors working on-site at the University. The process for reaching out to these vendors and obtaining documentation is under discussion.

What should be recorded in UWHIRES if a candidate withdraws from a recruitment or declines an offer due to the vaccination requirement?
UWHIRES now includes new disposition reason codes for “Candidate Withdrew” and “Offer Declined” due to vaccination requirement.